One Nimba Movement, a pro-democracy and advocacy organization based in Nimba County says it is not in full agreement with the isolation of Nimba County from the rest of Liberia in any manner and form.
The group says it doesn’t fully support the call for the withdrawal of Nimba County from the National county Sports Meet.
One Nimba Movement says such call is not feasible for Liberia’s democracy. The group noted that it is with sober minded alertness concerned about recent petition in the possession of aggrieved Nimbaians under the banner, the “Nimba Citizens Initiative” calling for the withdrawal of the Nimba County teams from the National County Sports Meets citing that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Zeogar Wilson called the people of Nimba “hooligans” at the end of the just ended National County Sports Meet.
In their petition, the Nimba Citizens Initiative quoted Minister Wilson as referring to the people of Nimba as “Dirty People” prior to the 2018 National County Sports Meet when he had gone to inspect the county sports pitch in Sanniquellie city. Minister Wilson was quoted by the group as referring to some Nimbaians as “criminals and rebels” following the 2018 National County Sports Meet.
However, One Nimba Movement says it takes seriously, comments attributed to the Youth and Sports Minister against the people of Nimba County whether collectively or individually as threat to “promoting a cohesive society for sustainable development” as enumerated in Pillar three of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
The One Nimba Movement says it is aware that since its inauguration in 1956, the National County Sports Meet has played a significant role in Liberia by dislodging diversities while embracing unity at a particular time.
“This is a culture that we aim wholeheartedly to protect. In view of the foregoing, the One Nimba Movement believes that the withdrawal of Nimba County or any other county from the National County Sports Meet will derail the true essence of said National County Sports Meet. Meanwhile, the One Nimba Movement considers comments made by Minister D. Zeogar Wilson, whether against the generality of Nimbaians or individual citizen of Nimba, as unwelcoming and unhealthy for the spirit and intent of national unity which is the core objective of the National County Sports Meet. The One Nimba Movement believes that such statement by the Minister of Youth and Sports during the peace tournament is counterclockwise to pillar three of the Pro-Poor Agenda for prosperity and development which places emphasis on sustaining the peace,” the group said in a statement read in Gompa City on August 10, 2020.
“The One Nimba Movement calls for an immediate dialogue between the aggrieved Nimbaians under the banner “Nimba Citizens Initiative” and Hon. D. Zeogar Wilson, Minister of Youth and Sports, Republic of Liberia,” One Nimba Movement is quoted in a statement read by its Chairman, Bob Yeenuah Kartoe in Gompa City, Nimba County on August 10, 2020
At the same time, the group is commending the Nimba Legislative Caucus for what it calls ‘overwhelming efforts’ in buttressing their calls for the review and renegotiation of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia and Arcelor Mittal Liberia (AML).
They also thanked the leadership and members of the House of Representatives of the National Legislature of Liberia for unanimously voting in favor of the review of said MDA.
“However, we still remain disconcerted about the illicit withholding of US$260,000.00 from recent remittance of US$3, 360,000.00 into the account of the government of Liberia which serves as 80% of the total of US$4, 200,000.00 with Arcelor Mittal withholding US$840,000.00 as 20% for development purposes in communities directly affected by the operations of AML,” the group further said.
One Nimba Movement further added “With our simple calculation done, as carrier of 50% of the Social Development Fund (SDF), the amount of US$1.55m disbursed to Nimba County falls below half the amount of US$3.36m. Our investigation further informed us that Nimba County should have received US$1.68Mrepresenting 50% of the total of US$3.36M paid to the Government of Liberia by AML instead of the US$1.55m paid to the county.”
Meanwhile, One Nimba Movement is demanding the Nimba County Legislative Caucus to engage the Executive Branch of Government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to give proper account of the ‘unaccounted for US$260,000.00, an amount which they said Nimba has US$130,000.000.
The group further recommended that “The Executive Branch of Government through the office of the president concurs with request from the National Legislature to review and renegotiate the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia and Arcelor Mittal Liberia.”
In a related development, the ONM is calling for the full implementations of the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 GAC audit reports and conduct full scale and fresh audit from the last period of audit on the management of the County and Social Development Funds be considered at the pending County Council Sitting.
“We cannot continue nurturing the spirit of impunity at the detriment of the ordinary people of Nimba. The Nimba Legislative Caucus and the County Administration continue to display high level of leadership role so as to maintain the calmness at the next county council sitting,” ONM added.
Recently, the chairman of the ONM, Mr. Bob Kartoe was alleged of conducting secret meeting with some contestants in the PMC elections, but he has dispelled such allegation.
The group said as a pro-democracy and advocacy organization established intentionally with the strength of mind to unselfishly pursue, promote, project and protect Nimba’s interest above all interests, being fully aware of the journey that lies ahead as a people, and visualizing the beauty of Nimba oneness, notes with great dismay and seize to dispel rumor that its Chairman, Bob Yeenuah Kartoe, masterminded a meeting that is believed to have taken place between Superintendent Nelson Korqoui and district commissioners, paramount chiefs, city mayors and other local county officials tailored toward campaigning for Harris Y. Yeanamie, Sam G. Ta-Kruah, Jr., and Richard Nyeingar for the positions of Chairman, Treasurer and Comptrollers respectively in the ensuing Project Management Committee (PMC) elections.
“In the clearest tone, we must be swift to establish that at no time have I, Bob Yeenuah Kartoe or any leader of the One Nimba Movement ever coordinated or attended a meeting with the local government of Nimba in the interest of anyone desirous of participating in the impending PMC elections and it must be clear that we do not anticipate being involved with the process as a movement. The One Nimba Movement remains engrossed with unsmiling efforts to safeguard a common Nimba agenda through developmental advocacy and pro-democracy engagements,” he said in a statement.
Speaking further, ONM wants the presiding authority during the sitting to ensure that each member of PMC elected by the county council, sign performance or financial bonds and shall in addition declare his or her income, assets and liabilities within 30 days upon taking office in accordance with section 10.1 of the code of conduct of 2014